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Man able to enjoy lively party because he's using two hearing aids instead of one.

For most people both ears don’t normally have the same exact degree of hearing loss. One ear is normally a little worse than the other, sparking many to raise the question: Can I simply get one hearing aid for the ear that’s worse.

One hearing aid, in most situations, will not be preferable to two. But there are some instances, considerably less common instances, that is, in which one hearing aid might be the right choice.

It’s Not accidental That Ears Are a Pair

Whether you’re aware of it or not, your ears efficiently work as a pair. That means wearing two hearing aids has specific advantages over using one.

  • Being Able to Localize Correctly: In order to figure out where sounds are coming from, your brain is not only working to interpret but also to place it. In order to correctly triangulate where sound is coming from, your brain needs signals from both ears. It is a lot harder to figure out where sounds are coming from when you can only hear well out of one ear (which might be essential if you happen to live near a busy street, for instance).
  • Concentrating When People Are Talking: If you use a hearing aid, the whole point is to help you in hearing. One of the things you want to hear is other people and the conversation going on near you. Wearing two hearing aids permits your brain to better tune out background noises. Because your mind has more available data your brain is able to determine what is closer and therefore more likely to be something you would want to focus on.
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: Just as your ears work as a pair naturally, newer hearing aid technology is created to work as a pair. The artificial intelligence and state-of-the-art features work well because the two pieces communicate with one another and, similar to your brain, determine which sounds to amplify and focus on.
  • Improved Ear Health: An unused sense will atrophy in the same way as an unused muscle will. If your ears go for long periods without input signals, your hearing can begin to go downhill. Get the organs of your ears the input they need to preserve your hearing by wearing two hearing aids. If you already have tinnitus, using two hearing aids can minimize it and also improve your ability to discern sounds.

Are There Situations Where One Hearing Aid Makes Sense?

Wearing a pair of hearing aids is the better choice in most cases. But that brings up the question: If someone is wearing a hearing aid in just one ear, why?

Often we hear two distinct reasons:

  • Monetary concerns: Some people think that they can spend less money if they can use just one hearing aid. If you really can’t afford to buy two, getting one is better than not getting one at all. Still, you should recognize that over time untreated hearing loss has been verified to raise your overall healthcare costs. Even disregarding hearing loss for two years has been shown to raise your healthcare costs by 26 percent, and neglecting any hearing loss in one ear will elevate your chances of things like falling. So talk to your hearing professional to make sure only getting one hearing aid is a smart plan for you. We can also help you brainstorm ways to make hearing aids more budget friendly.
  • You still Hear Perfectly in one ear: If just one of your ears needs a hearing aid, then you could be best served by using a hearing aid in just one ear but it’s definitely something you should have a conversation about your hearing professional about (having one better ear is not the same thing as having one perfect ear).

Two Aids Are Preferable to One

In the vast majority of circumstances, however, two hearing aids will be healthier for your ears and your hearing than only one. The benefits of hearing as well as possible out of both of your ears are simply too plentiful to dismiss. In the majority of cases, just like having two ears is better than having only one, having two hearing aids is definitely better than having only one. Schedule an appointment with a hearing care pro to get your hearing tested.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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